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Young Yanks step up


Young Yanks step up
TORONTO ? A five-run second inning pushed the Yankees to an 8-2 victory over the first-place Blue Jays on Wednesday, a night at Rogers Centre where the key offensive figures weren't exactly names that have echoed in pinstriped lore.

Brett Gardner's first career home run was the highlight hit, while Ramiro Pena and Johnny Damon collected two of the Yankees' three triples during the second inning.

And a night after Roy Halladay handcuffed the Yankees in a neat, 5-1 Toronto victory, Blue Jays starter Scott Richmond couldn't make it to the third inning.

Gardner later added an RBI triple to aid winning pitcher Andy Pettitte, but the Yanks (16-17) also got help from more conventional sources.

Batting just .191 heading into the game, Mark Teixeira had a single, an RBI double, and a sacrifice fly in his first three at-bats, after exhibiting a no-worry attitude before the game.

"I can't change anything that's happened," Teixeira said of his shaky start. "All I can do is keep working hard, trying to get a few hits tonight."

The wrist problem that affected Teixeira's right-handed swing was a thing of the past, he said. Now, with Alex Rodriguez batting behind him in the cleanup spot, Teixeira said he'd be "more aggressive" at the plate.

"At the end of it all, I'm going to be successful," Teixeira said.

Despite the tough start, manager Joe Girardi had no plans to displace Teixeira as his No. 3 hitter. "I'm not going to say it's still early," Girardi said, though he had the same belief system as Teixeira. "He's had a lot of success hitting third, and we believe he'll continue to have success ? he knows this league."

Pettitte (3-1) overcame first-inning wildness, and lasted six innings, giving up two runs ? one earned ? on four walks, with two strikeouts.

In the first inning, Pettitte walked three batters and gave up an unearned run, due to Robinson Cano's throwing error. Scott Rolen's two-out, infield hit led to a run in the fourth.

The Yankees entered the game with a .243 batting average with runners in scoring position, 13th in the AL, but they went 6-for-13 on Wednesday ? despite Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui being sidelined.

Entering his 12th major league start, Richmond ? who spent three seasons in a Canadian independent league ? had won four of his first six starts this year, with a 3.29 ERA.

Richmond, 29, avoided first-inning trouble against the notables in the Yankees' order, getting Cano to fly out with two men on base. But the right-hander couldn't skate through the non-All-Star portion of the lineup.

After Melky Cabrera led off with a double, Gardner jumped on a hanging curveball and sent it over the 328-mark in right ? and inside the foul pole ? to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

Pena followed with his first career triple, to right, and Damon's RBI double to right made it 3-1. Damon also doubled in the fourth, and ran his streak to nine straight games with an extra-base ht.

Teixeira belted an RBI double to deep center, and Cano contributed an RBI single to chase Richmond and give the Yanks a 5-1 lead.

In the fourth, Teixeira added a sacrifice fly off Brian Wolfe. Gardner's RBI triple to center, and Francisco Cervelli's RBI infield hit increased the lead to 8-2.

Suddenly, Halladay's domination from the previous night seemed as if it happened in another series. Even in the hours leading up to Wednesday's game, Teixeira already had dismissed Tuesday's 0-for-4 from his mind.

"I'm not going to change my approach because Roy Halladay carved me up," Teixeira said.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 16, 2009

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